The highest number of deaths was recorded in November 2020 with 94 deaths reported followed by December with 47 deaths. Since the beginning of 2021,74 deaths were reported in the month of January. This accounts for more than 65 percent of the total number of deaths that have been reported in the country.
At least 65 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Uganda occurred during the recent campaign season. This accounts for 215 out of the 327 deaths
recorded in the country since the outbreak of coronavirus disease almost a year ago.
deaths occurred between November 2020 and January 2021, a period that was characterised by heated political activities and gatherings across
the country. According to records by the Ministry of Health, November recorded the highest number of fatalities with a total of 94. There were 47 deaths in December and 74 in January.
the dead was Pallisa Woman MP Faith Alupo, Kamuli Woman MP Rehema
Watongola, Kyotera Woman MP Robinah Ssentongo, her husband Joseph
Ssentongo, her sister Dorothy Mukasa, Alhajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, Dr
Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa, Dr Charles Kiggundu, Dr Fred Kigozi, Dr
Gelasius Mukasa, and Dr Patrick Odongo, among others.
Misaki Wayengera, an epidemiologist and the head of the COVID-19
Scientific Committee, says that the trend of deaths during the campaign
season was not unexpected, considering that many of the people involved
in political activities, disregarded precautions about COVID-19 and
continued meeting in crowded places, holding campaign meetings and
rallies, yet many of the people in the crowds had no face masks.
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than 50 per cent of the people who died during the time were men aged
between 60-69 years, according to the record. Dr Wanyengera explains
that unlike the female immune system which is more resilient and acts
factor and more aggressively against pathogens, the male hormone testosterone, on the other hand, inhibits
the body's own defences.
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Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and a presidential advisor on
epidemics told URN that while the country needed to carry out elections,
they predicted the number of infections would increase. Figures
from the Ministry of Health show that over 26,000 new infections were
recorded during the political season, bringing the number of cumulative
infections to 39,188 as of January 25, 2021.
best option was to postpone elections but that was impossible. The next best thing was to carry out scientific elections but even that turned out to be difficult for nearly all candidates at all levels. With this,
we predicted high infections and deaths as a result," Musenero said.
added that some of the deaths could have been avoided if people adhered
to the Standard Operating Procedures as issued by the Ministry of
Health and the Electoral Commission. The epidemiological modelling
carried out showed that the disease might infect as many as 400,000
people in the first quarter of this year.
now we are only able to detect 10 per cent of all infections. The
number could even be more than 100,000 and the deaths might even
increase because, during election days, people still gathered and SOPs
were not followed," Dr Musenero adds.
Dr Rose Byanyima, the Deputy Director of Mulago National Referral
Hospital who also doubles as the head of COVID-19 treatment unit, says the high deaths can be attributed to the high number of reported cases in these months. "When
you have more people falling sick, that means hospitals will be full
and when they are full, patients cannot get the kind of care they used
to get when you only had 10 patients on the unit. Right now, the
treatments units are operating at full capacity," she said.
says that if the country continues to report high cases of the disease,
the number of deaths might increase to as many as 10,000. "This
number is expected to increase according to our models. As per the
current deaths rate of 0.1 per cent, by April we might have as many as
10,000 deaths if every factor remains constant," he said.